A Quick Look: Western Mountaineering HQ

Western Mountaineering is one of those names that’s synonymous with quality. When I found out that they are based in San Jose, CA! Naturally, I had to come say hi.

I’ve never seen what a sleeping bag factory looked like, or any factory really. Their headquarters are located in a more industrial area of San Jose. I opened the doors and it was a flurry of whirring machines, crinkly material, and stray down feathers fluttering about.

I got a quick tour of the place and a rundown of how the sleeping bags are made. All of Western Mountaineering’s bags are handmade here in San Jose! (And some jackets too!) Each bag takes about six hours to make and only touch two people’s hands in the creation process. Limiting the number of people working on one bag helps to keep quality very high. Not to mention, each bag goes through two quality control check points: once before it is stuffed, and once after it is stuffed. If there’s an errant stitch or the like, the bag does not leave the factory.

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It was very cool to stop by. Thank you to Gary and Gary at Western Mountaineering for having me!

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And just for kicks, pictured above is one of the first Western Mountaineering bags ever made. It is still a usable bag to this day, a great testament to the longevity and quality of one of their bags.